That’s the title of the movie HubSpot characterized as one of the “strangest movies of the 80s.”  For marketers who began in the field 20 or more years ago, and who were also responsible for advertising, the usual regime usually meant weeks, if not months of meetings, analysis and manual buys. That ritual was critical to any marketer wishing to get ahead.

Today’s technology has changed all that with demand-side platforms. DSP is software that now allows marketers to not only purchase digital ads, but also remove the negotiations and ad placing process as well.  By visiting an ad exchange, marketers can bid in real-time for impressions they want, and within minutes of winning the bid, that ad can be automatically placed on the winning bidder’s website.


The biggest task marketers seeking DSP have is identifying the best software for their company. There are dozens on the market with numerous reviews claiming which are the best or most popular.  Here’s a review from one of the more credible sources. 

In a recent edition, Adweek reported that Amazon was the most favored DSP for advertising based on the Programmatic Intelligence Report by the research firm Advertiser Perceptions.  While that wasn’t too surprising, what did startle some industry observers was Google falling out of second place and being replaced by Trade Desk.  Google ended up in third.

Of those surveyed, Advertiser Perceptions reported that 46% of respondents said they had used Amazon within the past year.  That number was down slightly from 48% in the previous survey.   In placing second, Trade Desk came in with 38%, followed by Google’s 33%.  Other top finishers were MediaMath at 31%, Adobe Advertising Clous at 25%, and App Nexus at 24%.

When asked by Advertiser Perceptions who respondents would pick if they only had one choice, Amazon again came in first at 29%.  When the research firm began the annual study three years ago, Amazon was first but with only 16%, while Google came in second in this category with 17%. 


Before investing in a DSP, companies need to consider several factors.  One of the most important is reach.  Will the DSP reach every market the company is in? Very few are global, and many companies employ several DSPs to achieve this global reach.  Just as important is whether or not the GSP will be able to retrieve all the inventory the company needs to purchase.

As usual for anything tech-related, technology is important, because DSPs employ real-time algorithms, speed and efficiency are critical.

Many DSPs are available and, in part, the ease of set up and operation enable this. Companies need to be sure there will be enough support and help, especially at critical times.  In general, bigger is better when it comes to selecting a DSP provider. 

Look very closely at the real cost for one’s DSP because fees vary.  Some offer a fixed rate for each transaction while others have variations of that.  What is the monthly rate and/or annual minimum?  Look for any hidden costs and tally up what the real and actual cost will be. 

Finally, companies need to carefully and closely assess what the result of the relationship will be between their current data provider and the DSP they’re considering.  Will it be compatible and complement each other?  Most importantly, ownership of company data must remain with the company. 

All of these actions should help a company get ahead in advertising.

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